CPT: Certified Production Technician

A Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification recognizes mastery of various elements of manufacturing. In this guide, we will explore the key aspects of CPT certification, including its significance, steps required for certification, benefits of implementation, and more.

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What is a Certified Production Technician? Copied

A CPT is an individual who is certified to demonstrate competence in four key areas of frontline manufacturing. The certification is offered by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC). Areas covered in the program include the following:

  • Safety. Understanding and implementing safety protocols and procedures in a manufacturing environment to ensure the well-being of oneself and coworkers.
  • Quality practices and measurement. Learning about quality control, inspection techniques, and measurement tools to ensure products meet the required quality standards.
  • Manufacturing processes and production. Gaining knowledge about various manufacturing processes, such as machining, assembly, and fabrication, as well as understanding production planning and scheduling.
  • Maintenance awareness. Understanding the basics of machine maintenance and troubleshooting to ensure equipment operates efficiently and safely.

Green production – which covers the manufacturing of products and the conducting of industrial processes in an environmentally sustainable and responsible manner – is technically a fifth area included in the MSSC’s program, although it is not required for certification.

Who needs a CPT certification? Copied

The CPT certification program is “ideal for individuals with limited to no prior knowledge of manufacturing,” according to the MSSC’s website, as it provides essential knowledge and skills for a career in the industry.


A CPT certification is typically not mandatory for all manufacturing jobs, but it may be required depending on the specific employer and role. Certifications are valid for five years, after which individuals must seek recertification.

How do you get a CPT certification? Copied

To obtain a CPT certification, you must complete a training program from an accredited provider. The program covers the four core areas listed above, and also involves passing an assessment or exam for each area. Exams taken via the MSSC consist of 80-101 multiple-choice questions.

What are the renewal requirements for a CPT certification? Copied

CPT recertification is point-based. Individuals must earn 100 points during the five years in which their certification is valid. To earn points, individuals must take part in continuing education or be employed in a manufacturing-related role.

What are the benefits of a Certified Production Technician certification? Copied

A CPT certification offers several benefits to individuals and organizations. Some key advantages include for individual employees include the following.

Improved employability

CPT certification enhances job prospects in the manufacturing industry, making candidates more attractive to employers.

Skills validation

A CPT certification verifies foundational manufacturing knowledge and skills, assuring employers of a candidate’s competence.

Career advancement

A CPT certification can be a stepping stone to higher-paying roles and opportunities for further specialization within manufacturing.


In turn, CPT-certified employees provide the following benefits to their organizations.

Enhanced productivity

CPT-certified employees tend to have better skills, leading to improved production efficiency and product quality.

Reduced training costs

Organizations can lower training expenses as CPT-certified hires require less foundational training.

Competitive advantage

CPT certification can enhance an organization’s reputation for quality and commitment to skilled labor, attracting customers and investors.


What are the challenges posed by CPT certification? Copied

A CPT certification may pose several challenges to individuals and organizations. For individuals, they include the following.

Cost and time

Obtaining CPT certification may require an investment of time and money for training and examination fees, which can be a barrier for some individuals.


Variability in recognition

The recognition of CPT certification can vary by region and industry, limiting its usefulness in certain job markets.

Evolving industry

Manufacturing processes and technologies evolve rapidly, so CPT certifications may need regular updates to remain relevant.

Additionally, organizations supporting their employees in obtaining CPT certifications may face the following challenges.


Initial investment

Supporting employee certification programs can be costly, including training and examination expenses.


Compliance and maintenance

Maintaining certification standards and ensuring ongoing compliance can be administratively demanding, although the right skills management software can lessen the burden here.

Skill gaps


While CPT certification covers foundational skills, organizations may still face challenges in addressing specialized skill gaps needed for their unique manufacturing processes.


What are tips and strategies for preparing for a CPT certification? Copied

Here are a few tips for preparing for a CPT certification:

  • Utilize CPT study guides, textbooks, and online resources to reinforce your knowledge of manufacturing processes, safety protocols, and quality standards.
  • Take practice exams to familiarize yourself with the test format and identify areas where you need improvement.
  • Seek opportunities for hands-on experience in manufacturing settings to apply theoretical knowledge.
  • Collaborate with peers or join study groups to discuss and clarify complex topics.

Create a study schedule to ensure you cover all CPT domains, allocating more time to your weaker areas.

What are resources for CPT certification? Copied

For more information and guidance on CPT certification, you can refer to the following resources.

Manufacturing Skill Standards Council. The MSSC is the official certification body for CPT certifications. Its website offers a wealth of resources for those seeking certification, including course details, enrollment and cost information, and more.

Skills management for Certified Production Technicians Copied

AG5 stores all certifications in the cloud, providing all authorized personnel with access to the right version of approved certifications. This helps you easily keep track of all data and documentation related to a CPT certification across your organization.

Using AG5’s skills management software, you can monitor the status of any type of certification that is relevant to your workforce, leveraging intuitive dashboards that provide you with a clear understanding of exactly what is needed to keep your employees skilled and safe.


Frequently asked questions about CPT certification Copied

  • What is the scope of a CPT certification?

  • Is CPT certification mandatory?

  • How long does it take to obtain a CPT certification?

  • What are the cost considerations for a CPT certification?

  • What is the validity period of a CPT certification?

  • Can a CPT certification be integrated with other management systems?

  • How can you learn more about CPT certification?

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Original version | September 27, 2023

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